The islands are resilient and will come back quickly. The best thing for the islands and its people are for visitors to return and for charters to start heading out once again. Like so many of you, Carefree Yacht Charters is committed and eager to help rebuild the islands.
Update 10/10/17: Our Thoughts In General
There are charters going out in early November in the Virgin Islands. The majority of our clients are happy to carry forward with their charters as planned and we are additionally getting inquiries for new charters. Tourism is the economy in the Virgin Islands and we believe they will make a huge push to restore their popular yacht stops before the holidays. The beach bars are made of simple construction, can therefore blow away fast but can also pop back up quickly. The larger hotels that took substantial damage will typically take advantage of a storm like this to remodel and will close for a year. In a typical week on charter in the BVI, the only large resort you may anchor in front of is the Bitter End Yacht Club, but very few charter guests actually go ashore to visit. There are a couple of other anchorages in the immediate area that Captain's can opt for instead. The plant greenery is returning and should be back after the upcoming rainy season. Unless you know the snorkel sites from years of chartering in the area, they won't look any different to the average snorkeler. There will be demolished structures around the islands, but they will most likely be there for years to come and some of them might actually be from hurricanes from 10 years ago. You don't typically spend a lot of time around towns on the bigger islands on charter. Rather your anchorages are mostly uninhabited with a beach bar or two, so unless you ask to go ashore to see some destruction out of curiosity, you won't see most of the damaged structures. In our opinion, the Virgin Islands will emerge in a more authentic state for the next year with smaller beach bars serving BBQ chicken vs busy beach bars where it takes 20 minutes to get a drink. Having the opportunity to cruise the BVI's in this authentic and uncrowded state will be a plus. In addition, being a part of the islands return to "a new normal" may offer charter guests a truly meaningful experience.
We couldn't agree more with Derek's sentiment. This year and next will be a special time to visit and support the Caribbean.
This year the Caribbean will be as it was 30 years ago. There WILL BE really friendly people on a beach cooking you fried chicken on a BBQ in a shack they have created. It WILL be lots of fun on the beach. It WILL give you and your Client massive satisfaction if you take the opportunity to get off the boat for a day or two each week and in each Island you visit, to help the locals clean up and rebuild. — Derek Munro, Director at Yacht Consultancy Ltd
Update from CYBA 9/14/17
The following updates were posted on a message board for the Charter Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA). These updates are as of 9/14/2017. We will continue to add new information here as it becomes available.
CYBA Update about the BVI
The BVI Government announced today that they do not expect a food, water or gas shortage. Marinas are starting to restore power and water - see Nanny Cay's verbatim update from today below. Some ATMs have reopened and local stores are starting to take credit cards again.
There are hugely successful grass roots efforts to get necessities, generators, building supplies, etc...some containers are already on the way. The outpouring of donations is amazing with great support from the British Government and celebrities like Kenny Chesney and Richard Branson.
A ferry is now running between St. Thomas and Tortola. Tortola commercial flights started Monday and St. Thomas will be starting later this week.
Perrenial favorites like Foxy's, Ivan's, Soggy Dollar and similar have all pledged to rebuild and look forward to welcoming our clients back. Locations in Anegada, Pirate's Bight, Peter Island and Cooper Island are also rumored to be able to rebuild enough to open for business this charter season.
Right now, we don't have a timeline on the restoration of Myetts in Cane Garden Bay, but the majority of their buildings and the main bar is still standing. They've generously distributed any inventory to people in need and will update in the coming weeks when they'll be serving rum punches!
NANNY CAY POST IRMA UPDATE
Partial power has been restored.
The RO Water Plant, which was more damaged than we thought, has been fixed after some miss-starts. We are filling the storage tanks and continue to work on distribution throughout the property but have hose pipes for
Nanny Cay residents to replenish their containers. We have run a water line to the main road to give potable water to anyone in the community that needs it.
Nanny Cay is filling up with surveyors and loss adjusters. If you are a boat owner, please contact your insurance company as soon as possible to ensure a surveyor is appointed. We cannot start moving boats in the boatyard until they have been inspected and signed off.
Boats continue to be moved from the old marina, and the new marina is filling up with floating boats.
Nanny Cay is a hive of activity. The clean up continues and everyone is working very hard in the harsh summer heat.